DHHS Answers to Victoria Opening FAQ

DHHS/DJPR & Fitness Industry Roundtable, 11 November 2020

11 November 2020 PAA President, Sharan Simmons participated in the Fitness Roundtable with DHHS and other industry leaders to discuss the challenges still faced by the industry as restrictions are slowly eased in Victoria.

The industry representatives sought clarity on several issues including:

  • Capacity limits for larger facilities – Currently difficult for some businesses to remain viable. Increased capacity is also important for improving health and wellbeing of community
  • Definition of space, facility and venue, both for now and at next step. Some facilities are struggling to understand what they can and can’t do.
  • COVIDSafe Marshals requirements. Industry representatives suggested DHHS look to the NSW Marshal settings as the specific requirements could be the difference between centres opening or not.
    Industry representatives offered to support government in its decision on future industry restrictions.

Industry Restart Webinar – Presentation Slides

These slides are a useful resource containing information on:

  • the science behind the virus – how it spreads, new research on how long it lasts on various surfaces
  • guidelines on prevention and cleaning around the workplace
  • a presentation from IPCON, the Infection Prevention and Control Outreach Nurses who are actually handling prevention and outbreaks in Victoria. This includes,
  • a summary of findings from outbreak sources, and
  • a list of areas of concern that are often overlooked

Fitness Industry Restart Webinar slides

Fitness Webinar Questions

The following are answers given by the DHHS to questions that were not answered during the webinar on 4 November.


  1. What is the density limit indoors and what is the maximum number of members of the public?The number of members of the public in the Restricted Activity Directions permitted in the indoor facility at any one time is limited to the lesser of:
    • the number permitted by the density quotient, and
    • 20
    For 18 years and under, the density quotient is one per four square metres with a maximum group size of 20.
    For 19 years and older, the density quotient is one per eight square metres with a maximum group size of 10 per indoor space.
  2. If you have a huge open plan space e.g. 400m2 is this still only a capacity of 10 or is it a capacity of 20?See above for maximum numbers.
  3. What are the requirements for yoga studios where participants all bring their own equipment and are not sharing?Equipment must not be shared, members can bring their own equipment
  4. Is it a requirement to stagger classes?

Only one class or session commences at any given time and that time is at least 15 minutes after any other class or session has commenced.


  1. Could we have clarity around who and when to wear masks? What about yoga classes which are also live streamed – does teacher have to wear mask?All Victorians must wear a fitted face mask when they leave home
  2. How can you manage participants who resist wearing masks?You can ask someone not to enter your premises and refuse service if they are not wearing a face mask unless they have a lawful exception. Responsibility for wearing a face mask rests with the individual. Individuals who do not wear a face mask and do not have a lawful reason can be fined. A business owner will not be fined if a customer refuses to wear a face mask.

COVID Marshals

  1. Can the instructor be the COVID Marshal?The COVID Marshal may be a person conducting or leading a group, class or session in the cardio or strength training facility.
  2. How long do we expect COVID Marshals to be a requirement?We cannot speculate on future restrictions/requirements
  3. It has been advised we do not need a COVID Marshal if we have a booking system which limits people inside the club. Can we clarify this?COVID Marshals are still required.
  4. Do the floors need to be cleaned after each session?Any shared equipment that is used must be cleaned between users. Cleaning regimes should follow the COVID Safe principles
  5. How is ‘strenuous exercise’ defined?It is defined as exercise or physical activity where you are out of breath or puffing, such as jogging or running
  6. If patrons are 18 or under does this mean the number allowed increases to 20, plus 1 parent/caregiver per child?No, the limit applies to all members of the public
  7. Please clarify the use of home studios – what are the requirements for running a home studio? Do they need a separate entrance/exit? (Sharan Simmons, Pilates Alliance Australasia)For a person to operate a business out of their home that is customer-facing, or has more than one worker on-site, they must have a discrete work area, including:
    • a dedicated premises for the business to operate from, that is separate from the place of residence in all aspects (e.g. workers or clients cannot enter the residence)
    • another entrance for workers and clients that is separate to the residence
    • no sharing of facilities (e.g. toilets, kitchen etc.). This means a customer can only access a separate toilet(s) – they are not permitted to use the home toilet(s).
    • A COVIDSafe Plan must be in place. The work space is subject to the density quotient and cleaning requirements as per other work settings. Face masks must be worn by workers, clients and customers at all times.
    • If a home-based business meets the requirements of a discrete work area, it is permitted to operate subject to the restrictions of their industry. If the home-based business does not meet these requirements, it is not permitted to reopen under the current restriction levels in regional Victoria or metropolitan Melbourne.
  8. What are the settings for multiple service facilities, e.g. gym/creche in same building with gym on one level and creche on another and not part of gym floor – are they part of the gym cap or separate? (David Batty, Fitness Australia)

    If a place has more than one facility, each part of the premises is treated as a separate facility – for example if a YMCA has a swimming pool and a gym then the total facility cap for a swimming pool applies to the swimming pool premises and the indoor physical recreation limit applies to the gym.
    A few key things to note from a Directions perspective:

      • For example, the restrictions that apply to a food and drink facility (such as a canteen) continue to apply wherever the food and drink facility operates, including if the food and drink facility is operating inside of a community facility (such as a YMCA).
      • A clear delineation would need to be made between the activities and the appropriate density quotients and patron limits would need to be applied accordingly.
      • This may mean that more people are permitted to participate in activities in certain parts of the YMCA than others.
      • The YMCA would need to ensure that there is no congregation of patrons between facilities which breaches the density quotient for each space.
  9. What is the position on the use of fans in hotter weather – are they allowed/recommended? (Barrie Elvish, Fitness Australia)

    Current advice from DHHS is fans should not operate within indoor venues, where possible windows should be opened and air conditioning adjusted to enhance airflow.With air-conditioning please ensure that you are not using the ‘recirculate’ mode. e.g. switch air conditioning to external air only.

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